Remote learning for 2020-21

Girl studying on laptop at homeFor the 2020-21 school year, parents have the option of choosing full-time remote learning for their student with district-provided technology and internet hotspots, as needed. 

Remote learning provides virtual lessons with teachers and classmates, as well as self-paced activities, projects, and assignments aligned with state standards. It will look very different from our at-home learning this spring.

See the frequently asked questions below for information about:

Remote learning tips

  • Keep a daily routine as if you are attending class traditionally. Organize learning assignments and daily time commitments to stay on track 
  • If your student is unable to attend class virtually, please contact your student’s teacher or campus as soon as possible
  • Before joining a virtual class, make sure other household members know you will be live on camera and online
  • Please wear appropriate school attire. Remember that you are on camera and people can see you
  • Be aware of your background. People will be able to see all around you. Make sure everything in the background is appropriate
  • Turn off the TV, radio or music before joining class. Try to find a quiet area with few distractions so you can focus on the lesson 
  • If available, use earbuds or headphones to block out background noise
  • Follow the same classroom rules you would follow in person. Be on your best behavior, have fun, ask questions and follow your teacher’s directions
  • Order curbside meals for weekly pick up. Find the order form, pick up locations and additional details on the curbside meals webpage
  • Contact your teacher or campus if you have any concerns or need help with technology, assignments, etc.

What will learning look like?

Remote learning will be delivered either as synchronous (at the same time) or asynchronous (not at the same time) instruction.

Synchronous learning

Requires all participants to be present at the same time, virtually. This is two-way, real-time/live instruction between teachers and students. Examples include: 

  • Live interactive classes with students and teachers participating in real-time
  • Teacher-supported work time on video conference calls
  • Scheduled and timed online tests

Student expectations

Synchronous is the recommended method of instruction for 3rd-12th grade students (Asynchronous is currently the only TEA-approved remote learning instructional model for PreK-2nd grade students).

  • Students in grades 3 through 5 are required to participate in a minimum of 180 instructional minutes per day.
  • Student in grades 6 through 12 are required to participate in a minimum of 240 instructional minutes per day.
  • Teachers will take attendance daily on a designated schedule by course and absences will be documented.
  • Students will commit to attending virtual class at a designated schedule and actively participate in learning activities as if they were attending class in-person.
  • Student are required to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct just as they would during in-person attendance.
  • Courses will follow a similar scope and sequence as in-person instruction and will cover all required Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
  • In-person grading and GPA policies will be in effect, including policies for late work.

Asynchronous learning

Does not require all participants to be virtually present at the same time. Instruction is self-guided student instruction provided on-demand and can include prerecorded video lessons, independent game-based learning tasks, or pre-assigned work/assessments. Examples include:

  • Self-paced online courses with intermittent teacher instruction
  • Preassigned work with formative assessments within our learning management system, Canvas
  • Watching pre-recorded videos of instruction with guided support from instructors

Student expectations

Asynchronous is currently the only TEA-approved remote learning instructional model for PreK-2nd grade students (available for 3rd-12th grade students, if needed).

  • Students must be engaged in Canvas daily to be counted present. Absences will be documented.
  • Engagement is defined as one of the following:
    • progress in the Learning Management System (Canvas) made that day
    • progress (as defined in the approved learning plan) from teacher/student interactions made that day (phone calls, virtual meetings)
    • turn-in of assignment(s) that day
  • Courses will follow a similar scope and sequence as in-person instruction and will cover all required Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
  • Student are required to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct just as they would during in-person attendance.
  • In-person grading and GPA policies will be in effect, including policies for late work.

Will all courses be offered remotely?

For students who select remote learning, all core content classes (math, language arts, social studies, science and foreign languages) will be offered remotely. Certain electives and specialized courses will have limited or no remote availability. See below for remote guidelines for Athletics, Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) courses.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

For students who opt to take remote learning courses, only a limited and specific number of CTE courses will be available online. Many of the courses have hands-on experiences that are required by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or program needs and certification requirements. High school students may elect to take CTE courses that are not offered through a remote learning format in a face-to-face format at their home campus or at the GRCTC while taking non-CTE courses virtually.


All students who participate in athletics will be required to meet UIL requirements, be enrolled and attend the athletic class and after school practices in person. Remote students will need to furnish their own transportation to and from athletic class and after school practices.

Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA)

Virtual learning for VAPA courses may be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of both. Students who attend remote school may participate in extracurricular activities (before and/or after school rehearsals, practices, performances, and competitions) if they meet all UIL requirements, are enrolled in the applicable course section, and are able to attend designated rehearsals, practices, performances, and competitions. Remote students must have their own transportation to and from practices, rehearsals, and performances.

Remote learning frequently asked questions

Technology devices, Skyward

My hotspot keeps losing connection. What do I do? [added 8/7]

The Sprint/T-Mobile cellular signal may be low/weak where you are at. Hotspots work on cell signals, so if your cell signal is weak, your hotspot connection may be unstable. You will need to check your Network Indicator on your hotspot and find another area in your home where the cellular signal may be stronger and try connecting again.

See Steps to Connect your Chromebook to Your Mobile Hotspot 

Technical Support 

  •  During the hours of 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, parents and students may contact the Garland ISD HelpDesk at
  •  After 5:00pm, parents and students may contact 1Million Student Care at 844-309-1680



Where do I find my child’s ID number and password? [added 8/7]

Open and log in to your Skyward account.  Tap the three lines in the top right corner.  Select your child’s name on the drop down menu, select “portfolio”.  On the attachments tab, tap “print” (you won’t need a printer) and it will open a screen that says “queue”.  When it says “download” tap that and it will open a document with all the information you need. 


I have more than one child? How do I add them to my Canvas? [added 8/7]

Go to account -> observing and you can add additional pairing codes. Use the email you used to set up the account.

My child is not able to access Canvas from Ready Hub. Is there another way to log on? [added 8/7]

Try rebooting the Chromebook and clearing the cookies and browsing history. If that doesn’t work, they can also access Canvas at

How do I set parent alerts on Canvas? [added 8/7]

On the parent app, in settings, you can set alerts such as missing assignments, averages dropping below a certain threshold, etc.

Is there a help number to talk directly to Canvas for help? [added 8/7]

Yes. 855-745-8169

How do I get the Canvas pairing code, teacher code and school code? [added 8/6]

See the Retrieve Pairing Code From Student Canvas Account video for details on how to get the Canvas pairing code.

Teacher codes are a way for teachers to share a unique code for students to join a course, however, they are rarely, if ever needed. Students are automatically synced to their correct classes via the Skyward and Canvas connection.

The school code, or school name, is used when setting up the Canvas Parent mobile app.The school name for the app is Garlandisd (all one word).

For additional help and resources, visit our Canvas for Families  page.


I have downloaded the Canvas app. Why am I receiving an error message when I try to access it from my phone? [added 8/6]

You can view the Canvas Parent App Guides for Android and iOS mobile devices by visiting the following links:


I am a student. How do I add courses to my Canvas account? [added 8/6]

Canvas will automatically populate with your schedule. If it is not there yet, please check back again periodically. The system is loading and syncing, and this may cause some delays.

What if my child does not know how to login to access Ready Hub? [added 8/5]

Please contact GISD Technology Support by email at or by phone at 972-494-8566.

I am trying to set up Canvas for my child and it is requiring his student email address and password. How do I know this information? [added 8/5]

Parents will receive an email by 8/6/2020 that will give parents steps on how to access their student login information through the Skyward Family Access Portal.  Parents can also get their child’s login information by contacting the GISD Technology helpdesk (  Schools are also being provided with student login information by class roster.

View video tutorials on how to access your child’s Canvas account.

For additional help and resources, visit our Canvas for Families page.


How do I get the Canvas pairing code? [added 8/5]

For video tutorials on how to access your child’s Canvas account, find your Canvas pairing code and create an account using your student’s pairing code use the link below: 

View tutorial

For additional help and resources, visit our Canvas for Families page.


Do parents have access to Ready Hub? [added 8/5]

No. Ready Hub requires student credentials for single sign-on access to many district resources.

Can you explain the Canvas login process for students at each level? [added 8/3]

Students may access Canvas on a computer or laptop through Ready Hub and on a tablet or smartphone via the Canvas App.

What is Canvas? Does it replace Google Classroom? [added 8/3]

The Texas Education Agency has asked school districts to introduce a learning management system this school year, and GISD has chosen Canvas. Canvas is a unified platform that helps students navigate all of their learning from one location. Assignments, grades, secure links to Google Classroom and Google Meets for live class sessions, and communication with teachers and classmates will all be accessed from the Canvas homepage after logging in.

When will students learn to use Canvas? [added 8/3]

During the first few days of school, teachers will guide students through the process of accessing and navigating Canvas courses. There are also helpful student and family resources located in our Canvas for Families page.



How will students who choose remote learning after 9/8/2020 receive meals? [added 8/6]

Remote learning families will continue to be able to order curbside meals throughout the school year. Updated pick-up sites and menus can be found on the curbside meals webpage.

What school supplies will my child need for remote learning? [added 8/6]

Many schools prepare their own supply lists and/or sell pre-packaged supplies at the school.  It is strongly recommended that families check with their campus before making any purchases. See our school supplies page for more information and links to the campus school supply pages. A districtwide 2020-21 elementary school supply list has been added.

If a class is missed, will the ability to watch the recorded class, turn in work and be counted present still be in effect after Sept. 8? Do we need to notify the teacher if we know in advance that we will not be present for a live class? [added 8/6]

It is always a great idea to notify the teacher if you are going to miss class. The attendance rules will be in effect the full 2020-2021 school year.

Will students be interacting with teachers through Zoom? [added 8/6]

Our students will access Google Meet through the new Canvas platform. Google Meet will only be accessible by students assigned to the class, and will not be available to anyone without proper GISD login credentials.

Do students need to wear uniforms during remote learning? [added 8/5]

No. Uniforms are not required during remote learning.

How will the STAAR be administered if students are participating in remote learning? [added 7/14]

TEA will let us know how STAAR will be administered for remote learners. We do not have that information at this time.  As updates are received, we will communicate with families.

Can students who choose remote learning take dual credit classes? [added 7/14]

All fall dual credit enrollments through Dallas County Community College District (DCCD) will be online courses. Students who select face-to-face instruction on a GISD campus will be enrolled in an online section with DCCCD but will be in a GISD classroom with a GISD dual credit instructor or a facilitating teacher if a GISD dual credit credentialed instructor is not available. GISD will continue to provide textbook access for all dual credit students.

Will students remain enrolled at their school if they choose remote learning?

Yes.  Students will remain enrolled at their school and will retain their seat at their assigned school.

Parents will continue to receive communication from the campus and will be invited to engage in various activities throughout the year as feasible.

Will meals be provided for students who select remote learning?

Students participating in remote learning will receive one week of meals at a time by pre-ordering via email or phone and coming to the campus for pick up.

Are immunizations required for remote learning?

Yes, at this time the Texas Department of State Health Services has not waived the vaccine requirements for students.

Will students in a magnet program still have the option to select remote learning and remain in the magnet program?

Yes, students in magnet programs may select the remote learning option and still retain their magnet seats.

How will remote learning be different from at-home learning during the closure last spring?

Students who select remote learning will be required to attend and participate in class daily during regular school hours, and instruction will be led by a teacher.  In the spring last year, students’ assignments were limited. Remote learning this year will be a full course load of instruction and assignments that is comparable to what students who are attending school in-person will be required to complete. Teachers delivering remote instruction will receive additional training and support in digital teaching strategies and using online curriculum for remote school. 

How will remote learning be staffed?

Schools will continue to be staffed based upon student enrollment. The remote learning versus face-to-face onsite staffing will be determined by enrollment and student course selections.

How will technology and hotspots be distributed?

Technology devices and hotspots will be distributed from students’ home campuses.

Will hotspots be given per household/family or per student?

Hotspots and technology devices will be given individually to each student.

Who will be my student’s remote learning teacher and will that teacher be from our home campus?

Remote learning classes will be taught by GISD teachers. Your student’s teacher may or may not be from your student’s home campus. In turn, students in your child’s remote learning class may or may not be limited to students from your child’s home campus

Will a student’s choice to participate in face-to-face or remote learning be noted on their transcript?

GISD is waiting on specific guidance from governing entities regarding transcripts. Unless we receive different guidance, there will be no difference noted on the student’s transcript.

Will the remote learning curriculum mirror the face-to-face curriculum?

Both remote and face-to-face learning will be designed for mastery of student learning outcomes based on the academic standards called the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for each content area. Expectations for coursework and guidelines for grading for remote and face-to-face learning will be the same.

Will my child have remote access to their campus nurse during the school day?

Yes. Parents and students may contact the school nurse by phone or email during school hours.  However, school nurses will not make visits to a student’s home and, depending on the circumstances, may have to defer answers to the family’s pediatrician or primary care physician.

Will students participating in remote learning need to purchase school supplies for the new school year?

Yes. Families will need to purchase typical school supplies for both  face-to-face or remote learning options.  2020-2021 school supply lists are posted on each campus website.

How will you ensure my student will receive the same kind of support at home as they will when they are in class at school?

Students attending school remotely via synchronous instruction will have the same level of engagement with their classroom teacher as students who are in-person.  Younger students who will attend instruction asynchronously will get scheduled support from instructors and will have a daily engagement requirement to ensure that they stay on track.  All students who receive special services including Dyslexia, 504 and special education will receive all supports as outlined in their plans.